St Albans school becomes academy today

ACADEMY status has been granted to a successful St Albans secondary school.

Sandringham School has became the first outstanding school in the city to redesignate under the change of legislation and today was its first day under the new status following approval last week.

Headteacher Alan Gray said the school sees it as an exciting opportunity to move forward and improve further on its track record of providing education to young people.

He continued: “We will be keeping our name, as this is something we are very proud of, and will ensure our ethos and high standards continue to be upheld. We will continue to operate as a community school and maintain the existing links with other schools.

“In particular, there will be no change to our key partnerships with Beaumont and Verulam Schools (BeauSandVer), and we will continue to share teaching and learning at post-16 level”.

Mr Gray added: “We will be the first of the new wave of outstanding academies in St Albans and Harpenden and want to help lead the way in developing educational provision for the future in this area.

“We have kept the local authority and other schools in the area fully informed of our plans and assured them that by moving to academy status, Sandringham wishes to strengthen partnership working and support the raising of standards for all children.”

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The work of the school will be overseen by a new academy governing body which will include the majority of existing governors. The number of parent and community governors will also be increased to more fully reflect the school’s continuing role in the local community.

Lin Keen, chair of Governors, said: “The governing body of Sandringham School considered very carefully the opportunities presented by holding academy status and is convinced this move will place the school in the most robust and flexible position possible in order to continue its successful development. The increase in funding and greater freedom over how to use it will result in a very vibrant future for the school and provide even greater opportunities for students, parents and staff”.

As a National Support School, Sandringham has been involved in working with three schools in challenging circumstances in Herts, London and Derbyshire. The school is also making a significant input to national conferences on learning and teaching, providing lectures and seminars on leading practice to other professionals.

Mr Gray concluded: “Being an academy gives us opportunities to find new and improved ways of working �– and taking the initiative allows us to help lead school improvement. We have an outstanding team of staff who will be able to help us achieve even greater success, not just within Sandringham School itself, but also with our many partners.”